Integrated Healthcare Is Here

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The idea of being able to see all a patient’s medical, dental, optometry and specialist healthcare information all in one place has been advocated for and by the medical profession for a long time. 

Integrated health is essential

It was considered something for the future: the integration of healthcare would allow a general practitioner or dentist to be able to see all the other medical issues relating to the patient before they recommend a course of treatment or diagnosis. 

For example, at Ti Dental professional Bruxism treatment can only be done with input from the patient’s primary healthcare provider. There are causation issues such as stress and anxiety and unless the dentist is aware of these, they will simply be treating the resultant damage the grinding has caused. To solve the issue, an integration of healthcare and planning is required between primary healthcare and any specialist care provider involved to deal with the underlying issues of stress or poor sleep causing the patient to grind and thus damage their teeth.

There are, however, certain related elements of this integration that all in the profession must be aware of. And they are the technology that will make it possible and the legal requirement to keep patient data private.

The future is now with EMR

The development and use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems allow for patient record integration to become a reality. Integration and the holistic treatment of patients have become key as a means of improving health outcomes. By integrating health records, preventative health will be much easier to achieve and improve the overall care received by patients, anywhere in the healthcare system. In order to promote better health services across different specializations, the ability to manage data and documents from a range of service providers can make your analysis, planning and scheduling much easier and seamless.

EMR allows you as a medical professional in any field to access your patients’ records, with their permission, to improve the overall process of diagnosis and care based on a holistic view of the patient. 

The technology has progressed to the point where some of the monitoring devices used now post results directly to Cloud storage related to the specific patient and can be accessed in real time.

Medical records in the cloud

Healthcare integration has all been made possible in the cloud, but all providers and users need to know about the data protection required in this process. If your patient’s data is stored in the cloud, then your cloud host must abide by the HIPAA privacy rule. A patient’s records must be kept private until authorized to share such records with a designated party. Generally, this will require you to request such permissions on behalf of your patient, but they will have to sign off on this. So, it is worth letting them know, as the technology improves and before you move into the cloud or integrate your records with those of other care providers and health care professionals.

This rule thus also makes it mandatory to have a professional IT security system set up for anything posted or saved to the cloud. If your medical devices post results directly to the cloud, it must be done safely, paying heed to the fact that patient details and information is big business on the dark web.

EMR and cloud technology have enabled the integration of medical records to take place. It has been a recent change and the best way to keep abreast of these developments is to keep informed. Keep reading the latest journals and be aware of the associated pitfalls of the technology as well as the many benefits for your practice and patient care.

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